Starters Academy

When: February-May 2024

Starters Academy is a oldest entrepreneurship program that runs once a year at NOVA on the 2nd semester of the academic year. Over the past 16 years hundreds of NOVA students have benefited from this course. Starters Academy aims to stimulate the entrepreneurial spirit of NOVA’s Students and to equip them with the fundamental tools for creating a start-up through a practical approach, supported by a panel of experts and recognized trainers in the field.

This multidisciplinary course is made up of students from all the NOVA Organic Units, who pass the selection process. The skills acquired in this course are valuable not only to those who want to create their own startup but also to develop entrepreneurship skills which can a be a competitive advantage in the recruitment processes of startups or established companies.

Winners of Starters Academy get tickets to the European Innovation Academy tickets, supported by Beta-i.

Program Content

Classes will always be face-to-face from 5pm to 8pm.

Please note that location changes to ensure students have the opportunity to meet the different campuses or spots part of the entrepreneurial ecosystem.


# Date Subject Professor Place (To be confirmed)
1 28th February Introduction to the  Entrepreneurial Process Pedro Neves Senate Room
2 06th March Design thinking Guilherme Vitorino NOVA IMS (Innovation lab)
3 13th March Marketing Principles António Marinho Torres NOVA SBE
4 19th March Business Planning Paulo Soares de Pinho Senate room
  22ndMarch Entrepsim Begins Enrollment  
  24th March Entrepsim Decision Round 0  
5 3th April Innovation, product development and the lean process (build-measure-learn). Fernanda Llussá Senate room
  8th April Entrepsim Decision Round 1  
6 10th April Prototyping and Manufacturing Beatriz Couto + Fablab (Susana Neves) NOVA FCT
  15th April Entrepsim Decision Round 2  
7 18th April Creating and Managing Entrepreneurial teams Susana Carvalho Senate Room
  22nd April Entrepsim Decision Round 3  
8 24th April Financing New Ventures Paulo Soares de Pinho Senate Room
  06th May Entrepsim Decision Round 4  
9 8th May Social Entrepreneurship Joana Castro e Costa Casa do Impacto
  13th May Entrepsim Decision Round 5  
10 15th May Protecting & Exploitation of Intellectual Property Team genesis NOVA Law
11 22nd May How to pitch your idea? Ana Sofia Esteves Startup Lisboa
12 3rd June Final DEMO DAY ALL TEAMS Auditorium B Rectorate

Starters Academy is taught exclusively in English, three hours a week.

Selected students can be Portuguese or foreign, essentially at the Master’s level, but undergraduate students can also apply, as long as they demonstrate their dedication and commitment to the project.

Students will be organized into teams, each of which will be composed of at least two students from different NOVA organic units. The teams will work together in the development of a business plan and also in the decision making of the simulation game EntrepSim, which creates a simulator environment for a technological start-up and its challenges in product development and attracting investment and licensing.

At the end of the program, the teams will pitch their project in the final DEMO DAY to a panel of Jury that will select the best project.

ENTREPSIM: Startup Simulator

The Entrepreneurship Simulator EntrepSim is an advanced simulator of a startup environment that was developed by academics and investors as a pedagogical tool to be used as a complement to the teaching and practice of entrepreneurship.

The simulation environment is a Tech-based Startup and is already pre-defined. The game will have 5 rounds of decisions and each decision will influence the output. Each team will be playing the same game simultaneously, but the decisions each team consider are individual and will generate different results.

Will you be able to transform the start-up in an unicorn?

Assessment Method

The final grade of each student results from the following components:

  • Business Plan (30%)
  • EntrepSim (20%)
  • Pitch (30%)
  • Presence and participation in classes (20%)

The successful completion of the program will also credit you with at least 6 ECTS, depending on your Organic Unit recognition of the discipline as part of the official optional subjects.


Application & Selection Process

To be part of Starters Academy, you must fill in the following form.

DEADLINE: February 2nd, 2024.


The selection process will take place in two steps (BOTH ARE MANDATORY):

  • Individual interviews (if needed): From 8 – 12th February – Via ZOOM
  • Group dynamic on the 15th February from 18h to 19.30h – Rectorate NOVA University

Selected candidates will be informed until the 20th February 2024

BEGINNING: 28th February 2024


For more information about the Starters Academy, contact NOVA Impact by email: with the reference: StartersAcademy

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